It recently occurred to me that the most critical time in a persons career is right after they get promoted. A HR team should work very clearly with the line manager to ensure there’s a clear plan for the first one or two years after someone get’s promoted. A lot of times, it’s about working at the level you wish to get to BEFORE you get promoted – and yes, that’s a very clever way of ensuring someone’s ready, plus you get to use them more, but at still a cheaper rate.
Even though that happens, it’s hugely important to ensure a plan is in place for the first few years of a person’s new grade. The individual needs to see that there’s still a path for them to follow and that progress can happen even within a grade. Also, the line manager should work with the individual about the reality of the new grade – what it means, how it works, and I’d even go so far as to say ease the person in via a set of milestones. If for example the new grade has higher targets, or new ones – why not introduce them on a quarterly basis? A good approach would be to create a ‘new promotion bonus’ – where an individual is rewarded above and beyond the norm for taking on all aspects of the new role, and for getting a ‘satisfactory’ or higher rating.
However you do it – promotion folks are usually driven and good – not giving them something to fight towards when they get promotion is disastrous for their career and the organisations retention.